12 Times St. Louis Has Made a Best-Of List

By Allison Babka
In Culture

How many ways can you say “St. Louis is #1?” Plenty, it turns out!

The Gateway City is tops in its citizens’ hearts, but it’s always nice to know that people around the country agree. With a white-hot spotlight shining down on the Gateway City, top publications, businesses and organizations have been putting St. Louis atop their A-lists.

“The range of lists we top is wide, eclectic and indicative of a community rich in many measures,” says Brian Hall, chief marketing officer for Explore St. Louis. “We have challenges as all communities do, but we also need to take stock in what’s right with St. Louis, and the myriad of lists we top is a great place to start!”

Below, check out just a handful of the categories where St. Louis earns a solid A+.

Downtown St. Louis


Top 10 Ballparks in America—TripAdvisor
Fans sure love singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” in beautiful Busch Stadium. And why shouldn’t they? The Cardinals’ home turf features gorgeous views of the Gateway Arch, amazing grub and meaningful nods to the rich legacy of baseball’s best team.

Forest Park: Top 10 Great Public —American Planning Association
Sure, everyone knows about Forest Park’s bevy of institutions, but don’t forget about the other features that make it tops in the nation! Take a boat out in the Great Basin, challenge a friend at the sports facilities and savor world-class concerts in a breathtaking outdoor setting.

The 21 Best Hotels In America —Thrillist
St. Louis certainly has its share of top-notch accommodations, but the Four Seasons downtown is in a luxurious class of its own. Beautiful modern rooms, breathtaking views, the renowned Cielo restaurant & bar and a heavenly full-service spa ensure that a stay in the Gateway City is pure bliss.


The Cities That Are Stealing Finance Jobs From Wall Street—Forbes
Move over, Wall Street! St. Louis has been adding more jobs in the financial sector and securities industries. With inexpensive business costs and plenty of trusted experts, Forbes knows that St. Louis is where more economic employers are making money talk.

Charity Navigator’s Top Cities
St. Louis regularly ranks among the nation’s most giving cities, but did you know that it’s also one of the most fiscally responsible? In a recent Charity Navigator study, the Gateway City is #1 in working capital ratio, #4 in low administrative expenses and #6 in total assets. That’s heart!

10 Great Retirement Cities In The US—Kiplinger
St. Louis has become hot for business, and people tend to stick around once they’re ready to wrap up their careers. Why not? With a low cost of living, tax benefits, cultural activities and easy travel throughout the region, St. Louis is a spirited home for the golden years.

Urban living

The Happiest Cities Discovered By Studying Instagram—Jetpac
You can’t fake true happiness! From splashing through the fountain at Tower Grove Park to giggling over milkshakes at Crown Candy Kitchen, St. Louis citizens flaunt their love for their city on every social network available. #Selfie, anyone?

Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll Travel Sites Countdown—Lonely Planet
Roll over, Beethoven! Chuck Berry helped the Lou nab the #1 spot on this worldwide musical countdown with his regular humdingers at Blueberry Hill. But there’s plenty more rock to go around, with countless music venues, bands and record shops dotting our map.

Most LGBT-Friendly Cities—Human Rights Campaign
Rainbow flags fly high and proud in St. Louis, and with a 100 percent score from the HRC, everyone knows it! The organization lauds the Gateway City for its inclusivity, LGBT employee benefits and city resources. That’s something celebrate at PrideFest—and all year long!


Top 10 U.S. Barbecue Meccas—Zagat
The St. Louis barbecue scene is exploding with tangy flavor, but one BBQ joint has given everyone sticky fingers since its inception: Pappy’s. They smoke up only the freshest, most tender cuts and serve the sauce on the side so diners can have it just the way they like it. Don’t forget the sweet potato fries and fixins’!

Top 10 Rooftop Bars Around The World—Frommer’s
Sure, lots of bars can boast “dinner and a view,” but most of them don’t quite measure up to Three Sixty Rooftop Bar. From the top of the Hilton, guests can nearly peer into the Gateway Arch’s windows while sneaking peeks down at the Cardinals’ game. It’s definitely a place to get your drink on, but don’t miss out on the food or the fire pits.

Top 25 Most Romantic Dining Cities—Open Table
Table for two, please! St. Louis is was founded by the French, so it’s no wonder we speak the language of love so well. The Lou has plenty of restaurants with dim lighting, blazing fireplaces and cozy seating, so grab your boo and snuggle up.

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